Monday, September 30, 2013
Matt Schaub speaks at players-only meeting
By Tania Ganguli
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub spoke to his teammates during a players-only meeting on Monday, Texans safety Danieal Manning said when he joined John Granato and Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560.
"I just want to clear it up," Manning said. "Matt, we're riding behind him 100 percent. I don't think anyone -- of course we were all pissed off about plays, everybody's like that. DBs make mistakes, you want the whole team to be upset, even the player that made the mistake, you should say something. Matt has been a man about this whole time. He told us how he felt, what's going to change, what needs to change. ... On the defensive side players stepping up saying things. I believe at this point today we really have a change in the way that we're going to approach the next game."
Manning said team leaders asked coach Gary Kubiak if the players could have the meeting room to themselves, excluding coaches. One person familiar with the meeting said running back Arian Foster called it.
Defensive end Antonio Smith, safety Ed Reed and receiver Andre Johnson were among those who spoke, per Manning. The meeting followed a 23-20 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a team the Texans led 20-3 at halftime. Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown which tied the game.
"Andre said a really lot, meaningful things," Manning said. "You can understand the passion, why he works so hard, the way he is. a lot of guys don't know that. Matt as well. It wasn't a really come to Jesus type of meeting but it was definitely, it was the perfect timing for us."
He's right on that.
The anger and frustration felt Sunday evening was evident from several players in the postgame locker room. I'm not one who thinks that a players-only meeting leads to dramatic changes just on its own, but I do know that a divided locker room can devolve quickly. That they had this meeting and heard from offensive and defensive leaders -- especially their embattled quarterback -- is a good sign for locker room chemistry. We'll see how effective it was this weekend.